MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Monongalia County Commission unanimously approved a $100,000 request by Mylan Park to address infrastructure improvements to the lower entrance of the park.
The improvements will be funded with $100,000 from the county’s Coal Bed Methane Fund and were reviewed and supported by the Monongalia County Development Authority (MCDA) ahead of the commission’s approval. The request was made by Mylan Park as part of their large-scale effort to continue growing their emerging tourism market.
“It was identified several years ago that the lower entrance of the park needed some help,” said Mylan Park Representative Terri Cutright. “So therefore, the organization moved forward with several different requests,” she said.
Commission President Sean Sikora, who is the commission’s representative on the MCDA, didn’t participate in the recommendation of the project.
The project to improve the lower entrance of Mylan Park was planned after years of study on attendance traffic. This will create a direct access point to the Hazel & J.W. Ruby Community Center Event, the Aquatic and Track Centers, the Mon County Center, and the new KOA Campground, which is set to begin construction in the next few months. This entrance will allow for an influx of traffic that would not need to use an entrance, which would save attendees minutes on their drive.
“Identifying that (location) as where a lot of tourist-related businesses would funnel people in through that entrance rather than the upper entrance,” said Cutright.
Improvements to the lower entrance of Mylan Park will coincide with the addition of KOA Campground. Funding for both projects will be separate, as the KOA Campground will be supported with $3.75 million in Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation (AML) funding. When both projects are complete, the heavily used complexes at Mylan Park will include more infrastructure that can account for more growth if more facilities are built.
“The lower entrance gives you access, obviously, to your beautiful building, the sports center, and the conference center,” said Cutright in her presentation to the commission. “Potentially any other development is occurring down there,” she said.
With the commission’s approval of the extra funding for the lower entrance of Mylan Park, this new phase of development will continue efforts to bring more tourism to Monongalia County. This is separate from plans to bring high school state tournaments to the facilities and the current hosting of the USA Junior Diving Nationals in July. For Mylan Park officials, this is just another step to give the park an income stream of at least $280,000 a year.
“AML gave Mylan Park permission to proceed forward with that project, so you’ll start to see some movement out there,” said Cutright. “A very significant project for the park.”